General Wilson was born in Nassau County, Long Island, NY and raised in Arlington, VA. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in social sciences from Michigan State University. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November 1972, she was the Honor Graduate and recipient of the Leadership Award from Marine Corps Women Officer Basic School.
Following air traffic control school in Glynco, GA, she served as an ATC Officer in Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, AZ. In January 1975, General Wilson reported to Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe, HI, and continued ATC duties. She then proceeded to Marine Corps Development and Education Center, Quantico, VA, where she taught at Instructional Management School for a year and then became a student at Amphibious Warfare School. Following graduation she went to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC, to attend the Administration Officer course en route to Okinawa where she was the Staff Secretary, 3d Marine Division from June 1980 to 1981.
General Wilson's next assignment was at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, from July 1981 to July 1984. Here she was a company officer in the Brigade of Midshipmen for two years and an assistant professor in the Professional Development Department her last year. During her last summer she escorted a group of midshipmen and completed the Army Basic Airborne course at Fort Benning, GA. Following a June graduation with the 1985 class of the College of Naval Command and Staff, Naval War College, Newport, RI, General Wilson was assigned to Manpower and Reserve Affairs Department, Headquarters, Marine Corps as a manpower management analyst. During January 1987, she was reassigned to the Joint Staff as the Special Assistant for General and Flag Officer Matters. In October 1987, she was chosen to serve as the Executive Assistant to the Vice Director, Joint Staff.
General Wilson commanded the Fourth Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, from July 1988 through July 1990. She next completed a Commandant of the Marine Corps sponsored Federal Executive Fellowship at the Brookings Institution, Washington, DC. From July 1991 to 1993 she was assigned to the Headquarters, Marine Forces Pacific as a Requirements and Programs officer. She was next the Commander, Camp H. M. Smith and concurrently commanded Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Forces Pacific, before returning to the Washington, DC area in January 1995. Following an interim assignment with the Roles and Missions Coordination Group, Headquarters, Marine Corps, she served as the Secretary, Joint Staff, until July 1997.
Completing the Capstone course at National Defense University, General Wilson was assigned as the Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, VA through May 1999. She next proceeded to Okinawa, Japan where she was the Commanding General, Third Force Service Support Group through June 2001. Before assuming her current position, she was the Director, Personnel Management Division, M&RA, Headquarters, Marine Corps. During this period she also served on the Secretary of Defense's Reserve Force Policy Board.
General Wilson is also a graduate of Pepperdine University with a Master of Arts in Education, the University of Northern Colorado with a Master of Arts in psychology, Salve Regina College with a Master of Science in business management, Naval War College with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, and the University of Southern California with a Doctor of Education.
General Wilson has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal, and is authorized to wear the Basic Parachutist Badge and the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff identification badges.